I read James Stanbridge’s letter (“Sparse support for EWR”) with interest.
Drawing on the same evidence of public opinion in Bedford as Mr Stanbridge – that is, none whatsoever – I can confirm that support for EWR has never been higher.
Overwhelmingly, people are looking forward to the convenient, rapid transport links to Cambridge, Oxford and destinations in-between, not to mention the two rebuilt Bedford stations and improvements to the Marston Vale line.
There is widespread relief that Bedford has avoided the disaster of having the line by-pass the town to the south, leaving us out of a major new infrastructure project.
True, there has been no authoritative polling of public opinion in Bedford on the issue. But the above is at least as plausible a guess as any other.
Based on its treatment of Mr Stanbridge’s, I’m sure the Indy will wish to publish this letter under the headline “Bedford’s support for EWR soars to record highs” or similar.
But really, this is a serious matter that deserves much better.
I feel for Mr Stanbridge in respect of the blight he and other Poets residents are suffering from EWR’s careless and unnecessary proposals to demolish homes, which I criticised in my own response to the recent consultation.
By the same token, Mr Stanbridge wouldn’t be human if the situation didn’t colour his views at least somewhat, as expressed in his letter.
For all that, it is plainly a nonsense to claim that there isn’t a strong case for the new rail link as a whole, or that it is not supported in our town.
When the new service is up and running in the 2030s, without doubt a great many people in Bedford will be very glad of it.
Editor, Bedford Rail blog
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